3 Things You Should Know About Physician-Owned Hospitals

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If you are diagnosed with a heart condition and need treatment from a hospital, you may want to consider visiting a physician-owned hospital. While there is some controversy between the government and physician-owned hospitals, research proves they are more efficient and provide better care than traditional types of non-profit hospitals.

What Are Physician-Owned Hospitals?

There are currently around 235 physician-owned hospitals in the U.S., and these hospitals are different from traditional ones because the doctors that work there actually own them. Traditional hospitals are generally non-profit organizations and are considered charities. Non-profit hospitals receive federal funding, whereas physician-owned hospitals do not.

While there are numerous differences in these types of hospitals, one key difference is the services offered. Approximately 75% of physician-owned hospitals are considered specialty hospitals. This means that they specialize in one particular type of health problem, and this is commonly cardiology. If you have heart problems, going to a physician-owned hospital is a great decision because you will have access to the best heart doctors around.

Can Anyone Go To a Physician-Owned Hospital?

One of the top controversies with physician-owned hospitals relates to the patients they provide care for. These hospitals are for-profit and they often have problems collecting payments for services from Medicare. Because of this, these hospitals have restrictions on who they will provide services to.

If a person does not have health insurance, or if he or she has Medicare, the person might have to get treatment from a traditional hospital. This is because the doctors' salaries rely on payment, which is one of the main reasons non-profit hospitals tend to treat more patients that do not have health insurance.

This does not mean that you cannot go to a physician-owned hospital if you do not have health insurance; you still can, but it might be harder for you to receive services there if you do not have a way to pay for the bill in full.

Are The Services Better at Physician-Owned Hospitals?

Most studies reveal that physician owned hospitals provide better care and services when compared to non-profit hospitals, and this can be attributed to numerous reasons including:

  • Specialties – if you have a heart condition, seeking treatment from a specialist is always the better route to take. If you go to a hospital that offers services for every health problem a person could have, you may not end up with a doctor that really knows what he or she is doing. A hospital that specializes in treating heart conditions generally has better equipment and more experience.
  • Profits – another reason physician-owned hospitals provide better care is simply because the doctors own the businesses. These doctors care about their jobs and their businesses, and they are there to make money. They know though, that they can only make money when they provide top-quality services.

According to Baylor Medical Center, 9 of the top 10 hospitals in the entire U.S. are physician-owned, and this study ranked hospitals based on the quality of the services they offer. As you can see, physician-owned hospitals outscored non-profit ones, and that is one of the main reasons many people prefer going to hospitals that are owned by the doctors.

Why Aren't There More Physician-Owned Hospitals?

In 2010, congress passed the Affordable Care Act, and this act prohibited any new physician-owned hospitals from being created. The government instituted this ban for many reasons, but the ban does not require existing physician-owned hospitals to close. Any existing physician-owned hospitals can continue operating, but new ones cannot be opened.

No one is certain if this ban will be lifted, or if it will be permanent. For now, if you are interested in getting high-quality care, you can look for a physician-owned hospital in your area. This is a great way to find the best heart specialists around, and you have the freedom to choose any hospital you want.